The Fool and the Bag
Tune: The Fool and the Bag, by Jeff Bigler
Set: 8 dancers (can be done for 4); 29” (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Jeff Bigler / Red Herring (2009)
Chorus: clash, toss & cross, clash, clash 3x, clash, toss & cross, clash forehand-backhand-forehand
Figures: dance on/rounds, cross & swing, starburst, motorcycle hey (or bombast if done for 4) & off
This dance was written in 2009 as a wedding present for team members Lynn Noel (the fool) and Phill Nimeskern (the bagman).
Beat 1: clash (with partner)
Beat 2: toss the stick in the air and cross the set, catching your partner's stick.
Beat 3: clash with partner.
Beat 4: clash 3x with partner.
Repeat, crossing back to original positions.
Note: The final figure is either bombast (if performed for four dancers) or motorcycle hey (if performed by eight dancers).
Dance On & Rounds
The dancers enter from the sidelines. When they get to the center, they continue in a circle, forming the set in time for the chorus.
Cross and Swing
Dancers cross the set (passing by the “stick” (right) shoulder) and continue well past their partner on beats 1-4.
On beats 5-6, the dancers turn over their “stick” (right) shoulder and switch the stick to the left hand.
On beats 7-8, the dancers charge in toward their partner, right arm extended, catching the partner by the waist (from the front).
On beats 9-14, the dancers go around their partners, continuing to hold their partner by the waist.
On beats 15-16, the dancers break apart and end up in their original positions.
Dancers face the center and back up on beats 1-4, then come in on beats 5-6, jump up in the air with their sticks held high on beat 7 (turning 90º to land on the “and” after beat 7, and another 90º on beat 8).
Repeat, backing up on beats 9-12, and coming back in on beats 13-16.
Red Herring shouts “Ho!” as we leap on beat 7.
We sometimes describe this as “hookers and sliders”. On beats 1-4, the dancers in positions 1 and 4 (“sliders”) move straight along the sides of the set, #1 heading for position #3, and #4 heading for position #2. The dancers in positions 2 and 3 (“hookers”) hook around each other (and also around #5), with #2 ending up in position #1 and #3 ending up in position #4.
On beats 5-8, the same thing happens. Note that the dancers who were “sliders” on beats 1-4 are now “hookers”, and the dancers who were “hookers” on beats 1-4 are now “sliders”.
The same happens on beats 9-16, at which point the dancers are back in their original positions.
The dancers move in a figure-eight pattern. It starts with #5 crossing through the center to position #4. Immediately after that, #3 crosses through the center to position #6. Dancers follow each other through the figure eight, alternating crosses in the middle. At the end of 16 beats, the dancers are back in their original places.
Once the dancers are “home”, #1 leads them off.
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